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Flowers in Fine Jewelry: The Best of Both Worlds

It’s springtime in the northern hemisphere and who wouldn’t love a bouquet of fresh, fragrant flowers? And a bouquet studded with rubies, emeralds, and sapphires? Yes, please! Frank Everett, vice chairman of the jewelry department of the renowned auction house Sotheby’s, tells Galerie, “I always say, there are three motifs that have been around since the history of jewelry: flowers, snakes, and tassels.” And he might be very much in the right.

Flowers in Fine Jewelry—a History

The beautiful floral bloom of the spring season has as much been a significant source of inspiration for fine jewelry designers as for poets such as Wordsworth and Keats. Their allure can be traced back to the Egyptians, who were said to adorn themselves with real flowers during an important festival that celebrated the fertility of the Nile and the power of their Pharaoh.

The appeal of flowers continued into the Middle Ages, where they signified various characteristics and emotions, including love, purity, and beauty. Cut to the 19th century, when time transitioned from Romantic to Victorian. As says V&A Museum, naturalistic jewelry, decorated with clearly recognizable flowers and fruit, was popular for much of this period. These motifs first became fashionable in the early years of the century, with the widespread interest in botany and the influence of Romantic poets such as Wordsworth.

flower bodice fine ornament

Bodice ornament in the form of a floral spray, diamonds set in silver, possibly made in England, about 1850

Source: Victoria & Albert Museum

The 19th century was also the time when floriography, i.e. the language of flowers became popular when Louise Cortambert, using the alias Madame Charlotte de la Tour, produced Le Langage des Fleurs, which was most likely the first dictionary of flower meanings. Give someone red tulips signified the confession of love, while hyacinths signified sorrow.

floral fine jewelry head ornament

Part of a head ornament, later a brooch fitting, foiled rock crystals, pearls and garnets set in enamelled gold. In The Language of Flowers, the lily of the valley signified a return of happiness.

Source: Victoria & Albert Museum

Then came Art Nouveau, a prominent art movement characterized by flowing, organic designs influenced by nature. Art Nouveau fine jewelry frequently featured large, visibly apparent flowing floral designs and is still popular today.

art nouveau flower brooch

Gold and enamel brooch in the shape of a flower and hornet, made by Georges Fouquet and designed by Charles Desrosiers, France, Paris, 1901

Source: Victoria & Albert Museum

Fashion Icons and Floral Fine Jewelry

The popularity of floral fine jewelry has only grown over time, with jewelry designers of today drawing inspiration from its vintage roots. Be it a modest pair of stud earrings or statement necklaces, designs inspired by flora and fauna are a common sight in fine jewelry across times and occasions.

elizabeth taylor emerald head ornament

Elizabeth Taylor and her love for emeralds

Image courtesy: Pinterest

audrey hepburn fine jewelry

Audrey Hepburn wearing a pair of six-petalled flower stud earrings

Image courtesy: Pinterest

marilyn monroe jewels

Marilyn Monroe wearing a pair of chandelier earrings with a floral top and dangling unit

Image courtesy: Pinterest

grace kelly fine jewelry

Grace Kelly, actress and Princess of Monaco, photographed at the Royal Monaco Palace, 1963

Image courtesy: Philippe Halsman via tumblr

jackie kennedy jewelry

Former first lady of the United States of America, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in a pair floral dangler earrings dressed in brilliant-cut diamonds (something other than pearls, for a change!)

Image courtesy: Pinterest

sonam kapoor jewelry

Indian actress and fashion icon Sonam Kapoor wearing a flower diamond necklace and ring at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival red carpet

Image courtesy: fabfashionfix

cate blanchett fine jewelry

Cate Blanchett pairing a beautiful light pink brooch with her yellow Valentino gown for the 2005 Academy Awards

Image courtesy: Vogue Australia

Among other things, Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms, was known for her extensively impressive fine jewelry collection, especially brooches, a lot of which featured different floral motifs.

queen elizabeth flower brooches

Image courtesy: Pinterest

queen elizabeth flower brooches

Image courtesy: Pinterest

queen elizabeth flower brooches

Image courtesy: Pinterest

queen elizabeth flower brooches

Image courtesy: Pinterset

queen elizabeth flower brooches

queen elizabeth flower brooches

queen elizabeth fine jewelry brooch

Our Interpretation of Florals in Fine Jewelry

At Moi, we’ve always been inspired by the creative spirit of the borderless world, and we try to reflect it through our fine jewelry designs. Cited below are some that very subtly bring in the magic of flowers.

gold diamond and tourmaline stud earrings

A striking pair of minimal studs, these Autumn ear studs look playful yet sophisticated. Worked in gold, a bed of varying cuts and colors of tourmaline below the central gemstone surrounded by diamonds gives this design a distinctive look.

uncut diamond and gold heirloom ring

We see Flower of Life as a physical representation of the sacred, the divine, in each of us. Inspired by this form of the sacred geometry, this elegant heirloom diamond and gold ring is handcrafted with an uncut diamond centre lined with textured gold, surrounded by six bezel-set uncut diamond units with six prong-set brilliant-cut diamonds alternating them.

gold diamond and ruby engagement ring

Inspired by vintage settings, the Juliet ring is perfect for someone who loves subtle details and a pop of color. The ring is handcrafted in gold, with a halo of rose-cut diamonds surrounding the gorgeous red ruby and carved details on the shank that are hard to miss!

gold diamond and emerald dangler earrings

Simple yet sophisticated, the Lillian emerald earrings are like a surprise cup of coffee that your colleague might get you; or an act of kindness by a stranger—the small things that elevate your day. A dainty eight-petalled flower is suspended from the diamond-studded huggie-drop closure. The emerald at its heart add our signature pop of color.

gold and diamond cocktail ring

Like a little flower perched on your finger, this beautiful cocktail diamond ring‚ handcrafted in gold‚ radiates from every angle with brilliant cut diamonds and hold yellow diamonds in the centre.

gold diamond and enamel earrings

India-inspired, the Raag earrings are an ode to the craft and colors of India and its festive spirit. The elements of these earrings carefully bring together a mix bag of techniques, the raw beauty of polki/uncut diamonds, and the unfiltered beauty of classic Indian motifs.

gold diamond and pearl earrings

Showcasing a unique play of silver and gold where silver takes center stage, the Seher diamond pearl and gold earrings seem like a find from a decades-old treasure chest. The timeless elegance of raw diamonds is the final piece that completes the quintessential vintage puzzle. Romantic and elegant, whimsical and sophisticated, this piece of fine jewelry a portal to the time and land of the refined and dignified.